7/30: Pressure mounting as action is delayed
We've returned to an old classic this week: where the week's hot topics fall in social and traditional media's interest.
This week, the most "popular" topics in both the public and professional eye are topics that we've been following for weeks: the Texas special session saga and the Voting Rights Act.
A special mention also goes to Robert Moses, a civil rights leader who passed away this week at age 86. Known for his "quiet fortitude," Moses found his strength and impact in grassroots organizing, helping plan the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project in 1964 that built the groundswell for further action in the face of violent opposition. His passing has also drawn significant attention and is a reminder of not only the impact of grassroots work, but also the still all-too-recent suppression history that we see in play again today.
Along with the Voting Rights Act and Texas House Democrats, we see Maricopa County, Arizona and Election Integrity topping the charts. We've seen all four of these topics building for weeks, and the pressure for action has come to a breaking point.
Voting Rights Act: civil rights and voting activist groups call on President Biden and Congress to take stronger action to pass voting legislation, as Republican-led state legislatures across the country continue to pass restrictive new laws. Activists in Texas are participating in a 27-mile march this week in scorching summer temperatures to pressure Congress as well. The U.S. Justice Department came out this week warning states to follow current federal voting laws, highlighting strong tensions between state and federal jurisdiction over the matter as partisanship grows extreme.
Texas House Democrats: with only two weeks left in the special session, strain between the two political camps is more evident than ever. Both House Republicans and Democrats have taken to social media and cable news interviews and indulged in political drama, with GOP members accusing Democrats of abandoning their constituents, while Democrats meet with federal legislators in D.C. with pleas for action.
Maricopa County: the independent auditing firm hired by Arizona GOP legislators has finished its recounting and now begins to draft a comprehensive report. Onlookers, both locally and nationally, are critical: the auditing firm has received millions of dollars from Trump supporters, and their methods have been found to be sloppy and insecure. Regardless, the recount has fueled legislators across the country to call for similar action in their states: we saw Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in the news this week over recount demands.
Election integrity: continues to be an unwarranted priority in GOP campaigning as no evidence of widespread election fraud took place in last year's general election, nor has widespread fraud been found in primary elections since. Regardless, Republican legislators have taken this issue as a crucial one that needs to be adequately addressed with stringent new voting measures that restrict voting access and/or make the voting registration process much more cumbersome and difficult. Election integrity serves as the reason for most of the elections-related legislative changes we're seeing today: much more damage than progress has occurred over the last eight months.
Apart from these four topics, check out what else made the news this week: the former president makes headlines again, along with a collection of lawsuits and grassroots activism. The elections news cycle never quits.
See you next week.